September 15 2014  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Bourbons and Malts standout performers for Beam Suntory

By Hibah Noor

 

Bourbon is a booming category for Beam Suntory, which has a large Bourbon portfolio that includes Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s

 

Americas Duty Free recently caught up with Andrew Meeks, Marketing Manager, North America/Caribbean at Beam Suntory, to discuss Suntory’s recent acquisition of Beam Global and what the new company has planned for the travel retail industry specifically. Looking forward, he says, travelers can expect plenty of innovation, especially in the Bourbon and Malt subcategories.

For the Global Travel Retail division of Beam Suntory, the focus has been on the route to market of the Suntory portfolio of brands, which includes Bowmore, Auchentoshan and a stable of Japanese whiskies led by Yamazaki and Hibiki. While these are still early days, Beam Suntory is currently developing the brand planning for Bowmore and Auchentoshan as they’re already in the duty free channel.

“Looking to the future, we are incredibly excited about our position in both Bourbons and Malts,” Meeks explains. “We have the largest collection of bourbons of any company in the world and have grown our malt stable to include a tremendous collection of brands.”

Indeed, both Bourbons and Malts have been increasing in popularity in duty free, and Meeks give credit where credit is due, noting that before the acquisition Suntory and Morrison Bowmore Distillers did an excellent job of building the equity of their brands. “This is an incredibly exciting time for Beam Suntory as a whole and especially for the Travel Retail Division,” Meeks says. “We are perfectly positioned to grow the brands to new heights.”

In fact, Meeks tells us that the company’s Bourbons and Malts have played a significant role in the most recent sales figures. Growth in Bourbons has been led by Beam Suntory’s premium line, which includes Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Jim Beam Signature Craft and Maker’s Mark, to name but a few. In the Malts category, on the other hand, Laphroig has been a standout.

“I think customers and partners at Cannes will be really pleased to see what we are developing for the future and the ideas that we bring to the table,” Meeks concluded. “For me, it’s a very exciting time to be in travel retail at Beam Suntory.”

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